Thames walk

(17 Sep – 17 Oct 2023)

From 17 September until 17 October 2023, we have walked 500 kilometres from the source of the Thames in the Cotswolds to its mouth in the North Sea. During the walk, we have engaged with 650 people: local people, school children, farmers, fishermen, teachers, rowers, journalists, politicians, environmentalists and many more, to share our vision of a world with drinkable rivers. Many days we have monitored the water quality of the Thames with children and each day we have stayed with locals who welcomed us in their homes.

Thank you for making this river walk so valuable and memorable!

Li An and Maarten

Our Thames walk

Everyone is invited to join the walk for a day (or two). You can just show up or give us a heads up and register. We will aim to start around 9:00 am at the starting points as indicated below. Please double check one day in advance whether we expect any changes.

During the walk, we will measure the water quality of the Thames as part of our ongoing citizen science research project. We welcome everyone to participate in measuring the water quality of the Thames with us. Especially teachers and children are heartily invited. Please reach out to us via

Rather than staying in B&B’s, we prefer to stay with local people along the river so we can engage more with the Thames community. We have done so earlier along the Meuse and the IJssel and this turned out to be wonderful. If you would like to welcome us in your home, please reach out to us via


17 – Source of the Thames, Kemble. Opening ceremony and picknick. Starts at 12:00.
18 – Church Lane, Ashton-Keynes to Castle Eaton Bridge
19 – Castle Eaton Bridge to Buscot Lock
20 – Buscot Lock to The Trout at Tadpole Bridge
21 – The Trout at Tadpole Bridge to Bablock Hythe
22 – Bablock Hythe to Osney Bridge, Oxford
23 – Events in Oxford (no walking)
24 – Osney Bridge, Oxford to Abingdon
25 – Rest day
26 – Bridge Street, Abingdon to Dorchester
27 – Days Lock, Dorchester to Goring & Streatley
28 – Goring & Streatley Bridge to Reading Bridge
29 – Reading Bridge, Reading to Henley-on-Thames
30 – Events in Henley-on-Thames (no walking)


01 – Henley bridge, Henley-on-Thames to Cookham
02Rest day
03 – Ferry Lane Bridge, Cookham to Windsor
04 – Windsor & Eton Bridge to Laleham
05 – Ferry Lane, Laleham to Hampton Court Bridge
06 – Hampton Bridge Court to Kew Bridge
07 – Kew Bridge to Chelsea Bridge
08 – Chelsea Bridge to Greenwich Cutty Sark
09 – Events in London (no walking)
10Rest day
11 – Greenwich Cutty Sark (note: 10AM) to Royal Arsenal heritage site
12 – Royal Arsenal heritage site to Erith Pier
13 – Erith Pier to Greenhithe
14 – The Pier Hotel, Greenhithe to Lower Higham
15 – Church Street, Higham to Allhallows
16 – Slough Fort, Allhallows to Isle of Grain (North Sea)
17 – Closing event (in London 4-7PM, no walking)

Gratitude to our partners who help us organising the different events


Li An Phoa

Maarten van der Schaaf

Maarten van der Schaaf

About Drinkable Rivers

Drinkable Rivers is a non-profit organisation that works towards a world with drinkable rivers by raising awareness, mobilising people and giving them the tools to take action for change. That is crucial, as everyone and every action matters to achieve a world with drinkable rivers.

When we will have drinkable rivers again it will be an indicator that we live healthy and in balance. All our actions on the land and in the water will contribute to this. As we are all dependent on fresh water all around the world and we are all part of watersheds, the drinkable river could be a societal compass for the 21st century that can guide us in the direction of health and that can mobilise all of us.


Images from Nicolas Boisclair, Gabriel Tetro, Mike Wong and Ryan Erless. Edited by Alfa Lee.

A movie from Thom Verheul, creative commons 2020 Stichting Drinkable Rivers

Conversation walking along Thames (Dec 2023)
New Constellations
First Mile joins Thames River Walk with Li An Phoa, founder of Drinkable Rivers (29th Nov 2023)
The First Mile
Protecting bats and butterflies (13th Nov 2023)
Henley Standard
Roz Savage MBE pledges to fight for cleaner rivers (19th Oct 2023)
Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard
Berkshire: Couple’s month-long trek for drinkable river water (11th Oct 2023)
Read and watch
Saving rivers, step by step (16th Oct 2023)
Earth Trust
Water campaigners reach London in Thames source-to-sea trek (9th Oct 2023)
South West Londoner
A project to make the River Thames drinkable (8th Oct 2023)
The Chiswick Calendar
Drinkable river campaigners walk the Thames (5th Oct 2023)
Make Water Famous
Clean rivers campaigner praises citizen scientists (4th Oct 2023)
Henley Standard
Clean rivers campaigner to visit on walk (15th Sep 2023)
Henley Standard
Drinkable Rivers
Ashton Keynes & Leigh Newsletter – October 2023

Watershed moments
Resurgence & Ecologist

River Warriors 2023
Lewis Pugh Foundation
Drinkable Rivers founder undertakes ambitious Thames walk
Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard
Drinkable Rivers – A worldwide initiative for healthy waterways heads to the Thames
Time & Leisure
Walking the River Thames in support of clean water
British Dental Journal


The English edition of our book is now available.
Get your copy at your local book store,
or get the e-book via Kobo, Kindle or your favourite e-book store.
For larger orders, please contact us directly.